Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

24 Jun 2014

San Diego Signs Brandon Flowers

Doug Farrar, Cian Fahey, and I had a bit of an e-mail round robin about Flowers about a month ago, before Kansas City cut him. Flowers had phenomenal charting stats in 2012 -- top ten in both Adjusted Success Rate and Adjusted Yards per Pass -- and then horrific charting stats in 2013. Looking closer with two film guys, though, it looked like less of a case of getting old and more a case of player and scheme really not matching. The Chiefs had always played Flowers on one side, period. Suddenly in 2013 they were moving him all over, sometimes into the slot. He got particularly killed by Dez Bryant in Week 2, but he was also doing things like covering San Diego's backup tight end Ladarius Green (who burned him for a 60-yard touchdown). Anyway, he now gets to be Green's new teammate. It's a position where the Chargers obviously need an upgrade. They would probably be best off just letting him sit on one side, stick the rookie Jason Verrett on the other side, and let Shareece Wright play the slot. Somebody told me not to move Brandon Flowers around.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 24 Jun 2014

4 comments, Last at 25 Jun 2014, 9:08pm by Scott C

Comments

1
by Scott C :: Tue, 06/24/2014 - 5:55pm

Flowers fits Pagano's scheme well, as does Verrett. Playing primarily off-man coverage and zone is what they excel at, and what will be asked of them.

If the coaching staff plays this right, and their NT tackle situation turns out OK, this should be at least an average defense.

They have a deep set of safeties, usually playing 3 safeties and 2 CBs in the nickel last year.

There is little reason barring injury to think the offense won't be at least very good again (it was the best per drive in the league last year, but had some issues in the red zone).

2
by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 06/25/2014 - 1:35pm

My impression of Verrett is that he is a press man corner, i'm not saying that he can play off or zone but I don't think that's what makes him an exciting prospect.

4
by Scott C :: Wed, 06/25/2014 - 9:08pm

His scheme in college was heavily off-man.

And that is what he does well. Not saying he can't play press, but he is small, shifty, and instinctual.

http://www.boltsfromtheblue.com/2014-nfl-draft-scouting-reports/2014/3/1...
http://www.boltsfromtheblue.com/2014/5/31/5763462/film-study-what-exactl...
http://www.boltsfromtheblue.com/2014/6/25/5839582/what-are-the-chargers-...

"Under John Pagano, the Chargers’ corners have utilized an off-ball, man/zone switch scheme most of the time. To be specific, on the majority of plays, the corner backs are on a seven-by-one alignment (The corners line up seven yards off, one yard inside their respective receivers). The Chargers use this scheme to confuse opposing offenses on whether the defense is in man or zone coverage."

"Verrett fits well because of where he excels at, off man coverage. He's also very good in zone coverage. Perhaps even bigger than those two traits, he can slide inside to the slot on 3 receiver sets, where more and more teams are putting their best receivers to create mismatches. "

"Most of the media/Chiefs fans will tell you that Flowers was terrible in 2013. Flowers battled injuries, was in a new scheme, and was asked to play in a new role. From 2008-2012 Flowers primarily played left cornerback in an off–man type scheme. That's where he excelled. Flowers can come into San Diego and pick up right where he left off those years in Kansas City."

3
by Perfundle :: Wed, 06/25/2014 - 7:51pm

But the Chiefs' pass defense went from one of the worst to one of the best, didn't it? I should think player assignments should be made to benefit the team as a whole, not just the star player. If he hadn't been covering Bryant and Green it probably would've been someone worse getting beat for those TDs.